Crisis helpline tackles Christmas debt problems

THE average British person is set to spend £526 on Christmas this year, with £347 being spent on presents and the rest on food and drink during the Christmas festivities.

In fact, despite talk of the gloom of a recession, 20 per cent of people recently questioned by a top bank admitted they were planning to spend more of Festive treats in 2012 than ever before.

But the cost of that high level of Christmas spending could be a major New Year headache as households struggle to meet payments on heavy-laden credit cards and overdue loan demands.

Paul Moorhead, of leading South Yorkshire insolvency practice Moorhead Savage, warns that heavy Christmas spending is often the last straw for families at the end of another tough year.

That’s why he is launching a special Christmas debt helpline to provide support for people who fear what the New Year might bring.

“Job insecurity is rising, pay freezes are the norm and overtime is being cut at the same time that the cost of living is rising so it is easy to see why some people think that they should at least enjoy Christmas while they can,” Paul says.

“Taking on an increasing amount of unsecured debt, adding items to the credit card as a short term solution to a long term problem, simply to ensure a good Christmas is never a good idea.”

Paul added, though, that the best reaction to fears about debt was to seek immediate advice.

“Don’t let bills ruin the season because there are things you can do to help ease the situation and the first is simply to seek professional advice,” he said.

“Our debt helpline is open all the way through Christmas and the New Year on 01709 331 300 to ensure that people start the New Year with some hope for the future.

“No problem ever seems as bad once it is shared so don’t let debt spoil your family’s Christmas.”

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